Ethical dilemna - law enforcement

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Ethical Dilemma Worksheet

Incident Review

1. What is the ethical issue or problem? Identify the issue succinctly.
The ethical issue would be rather to arrest the man for domestic violence or driving while intoxicated due to the test that the officers performed and what they observed.

2. What are the most important facts? Which facts have the most bearing on the ethical decision presented? Include any important potential economic, social, or political pressures, and exclude inconsequential facts.

The most important facts is that the car was still warm and they observed the man drop something out of his pockets that looked like keys. The wife stated that she had not driven the vehicle all day and the man stated that he had not driven the car since he arrived 4 hours ago. The officer performed a sobriety test and a preliminary alcohol screening test which revealed that the man’s blood alcohol was twice the legal limit. There was also a domestic violence call which is the reason the officer responded to the house.

3. Identify each claimant (key actor) who has an interest in the outcome of this ethical issue. From the perspective of the moral agent—the individual contemplating an ethical course of action—what obligation is owed to the claimant? Why?
Claimant
(key actor)
Obligation (owed to the claimant)
Perspective (What does the claimant hope will happen?)
Husband
Fidelity, beneficence
The husband is trying to avoid being arrested and wishes to be left alone by the officers.

Wife
Beneficence, non-injury
The wife does not want to her husband to be arrested and does not want the help of the two officers

Officer Nixon and Officer Nook
Justice
The officers are there to seek the truth and justice of the crimes that have been committed. Even though the case may be thrown out of court the officers do have the warmth of the car as evidence to present to the court.

Society
Justice
Society

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